I have looked at ways to try to advertise my freelancing business. I found a site where I could set up a website for free for one year and then would have to pay a monthly fee. I have decided that I would cancel that as I wasn’t making enough money from freelancing to make it worth the time and money. I learned some good skills I am thankful for because of setting it up. I have decided to use WordPress as my website and blog. I have added pages to my blog to include services I offer, testimonials and then my blog as a sample of my writing skills.
I have also put up some flyers in the area to try to get me some business. Many times places like the library, the bank, laundry mats, local gas stations, etc will allow you to hang flyers up. I used PowerPoint and then the bottom part has something they can tear off with my name and contact information. If you use the banks and gas stations, you may find you get people who wouldn’t know about your services and may actually take one. If you check it regular, you may find you need to replace it. Also, don’t be afraid to ask friends, family and neighbors to hang up the flyers where they work, stores they visit regularly as well.
Use various social media tools as well. This can be a great tool to help get your business out there. If you use WordPress, you can publicize your post on different social media sites you have, then your friends and others who are connected to you will see when you post something new, if they comment, like or share, others will see it as well. What about starting a page on Facebook or Twitter with your business?
You may not have a lot of money to spend on advertising, but make a few of these things help you out – you never know what it might do for you.
There are many ways to get your business out so people will know you are ready for business. If you don’t get your name and/or business out there, you won’t get any business, which means your business won’t grow. There are many ways to get this done, but don’t feel you have to do all of them at one time.
The many ways to get your business out there:
- Use freelancing sites like oDesk, Elance, Freelancer, Guru, etc. This can be a great way to get some experience under your belt.
- Social Media – Start a social media page on things like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn to share about what you are doing.
- Flyers – Put these at sites that will allow you to hang them. Places can include the local library, laundry mat, banks and stores.
- Blogs – If you have a special niche you will be providing services for you might want to consider using a blog. If you use a free one, it will also help you with the cost as well. Also, until you are able to pay for a website, this would be a great way to sell the services you will be providing. For example, if you look at my blog and the pages I have, I have included quotes from clients and will be adding to it. I will be adding a page about the services I offer and how to contact me for services. I use WordPress if you have LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, you can have your blog post show up on those pages as you write them.
There are many ways to get your business out for others to see. It is about how you use it. It is about using the resources you have wisely to be able to grow your business.
As a freelancer and the New Year coming, now is the time for me to look over a few things, update things and see what needs to be changed. You have probably changed a few things throughout the year, have added a few things to what you do, and/or hopefully seen your business start to grow. If this is the case, this would be why you would want to check what you have in place.
What are some of the things to check and/or update:
- Tracking sheets – You need to have one for the 2013 year. Having a yearly tracking system will help you know what is going on for the year and to easily compare 2013 to earlier years and help you plan for 2014. These would be anything from your invoice tracking to your income/expenses sheet.
- Your goals – Review how you did with your goals. If you wrote what you did, what you accomplished or what you at least started on, you will be able to see what you need to change, how to change things and whatever else you may want to add to your goals.
- Clean up – It is the time to clean up your freelancing folders. Are there folders you need to move to a completed folder or to another place because they are clients you no longer work with, etc. There will be things you want to keep for your portfolio, etc, but you may not need everything visible as you may have ended contracts, etc.
- Follow up – This is the time to see who hasn’t paid you, who you need to follow-up with, etc.
- Start your list – Do you have a running to do list you need to update? Also, if you aren’t doing this, this would be the time to start that.
- Start new things – What new things do you need to start? Are there new templates you haven’t used before? Are there new clients to contact? Whether it is putting it on your list or actually setting dates to do it, you need to get started.
This has been a great reminder for me as well. There are several things I have done and gotten ready for the 2013 year and there are things I still need to get done. But now is the time to start thinking about them.
Make sure you write things as you think of them as well, this will keep you focused and from forgetting what it is you want to do and where you want to go.
I have written this blog for just over a year. I can’t believe it. It has been an experience. I have learned a lot and am thankful for this opportunity.
This has also helped me professionally. I now not only do this here, but help on a couple other blogs where I write as well as a freelancer.
It has helped me with my writing skill. I am learning to be more specific and make sure my writing is exactly as it should be.
I look forward to continuing this opportunity and to see how I grow personally and professionally.
As a freelancer, just like anything else, getting and staying motivated is something you will need to work on regularly.
When you have regular, ongoing work, it can be hard sometimes to get or staying motivated to get the job done. Many times when it is time to invoice you may be motivated so you can get paid. But being able to stay motivated regularly is important.
For example, I had a job where there was a blog I needed to keep updated and was having problems getting into it for over a month. I had a hard time wanting to keep writing while the client was working out the issues. I did write, but not like I had in the past. Now the site is up and working, I am now ready to get going again. I was finding I was having trouble keeping motivated, but the little break ended up helping me now that it is ready to go.
When you are motivated you will do a better job along with continually getting new work. It is also important to look for work, stay on top of any new skills you can use or need for what you are doing and even looking at what you have covered. I have also found that looking for work tends to help out as well.
Many times we apply for or get jobs that are a one time deal and it is done. But really what makes your business grow is when you have continual or ongoing work along with referrals. There are those who have a bad experience with some of the online agencies, whether they are your fault or not, and may not have anything to do with you. If you are willing to work with your clients when they have a bad experience you will make them want to keep working with you. Then you will also want to consider looking at getting business on your own as well.
To get work on a regular basis or that is continual or ongoing, you need to make sure you exceed the expectation of the client. Then for those who you work without side of places like oDesk, elance, guru, etc, make sure you have a contract, set up your rates, have an invoice you use, a way to track the invoice ID’s you give your customers, etc. For example I have a Customer Invoice Tracking I use to keep track of my customers, how much the invoice was, the invoices they have paid, invoices still waiting to be paid, etc. Having an Invoice Template set up for you to use will be important as well. You will find I have attached a copy of what I use for the invoice tracking and invoice template. by clicking on those particular areas. The idea is to not work harder but smarter, so if you find something that works for you, then tweak it to meet your needs.
Make sure your rates are competitive along with making worth your time and effort and meeting the needs of the clients as well. These may change the longer you work, get more experience, etc. But if you are going to change the rates for current clients, make sure you give them ample notice this change and letting them know when it will take place.
There are many different views when it comes to rebates. There are those who say to not worry about it while others say go for it. But whichever way you go, make sure you understand everything to know about rebates.
Things to consider:
- When working rebates it needs to be for products you use. Don’t buy something just because there is a rebate with it. There are those who say if you are getting paid to buy it why wouldn’t you buy the product. But if you don’t use it you are wasting space to store it.
- Make sure you know the amount of the rebate. You want to make sure it is worth the time and effort you are going to be doing to get the rebate.
- Make sure you keep track of your rebates.
- Don’t be ashamed about the fact you turn in rebates.
- Make sure to follow-up when it comes to rebates. Many companies hope you will either forget about it or not to turn everything in.
Rebates can be helpful if you do them correctly. My family and I were just moving and I bought some packing tape. It happened to include a rebate, so all I would pay is the tax on it once I received it. I made sure I kept a copy of everything I turned in, this is helpful for when you don’t get your rebate in the time they say you should be.
Make sure you also know when they said you should be getting it. My husband kept following up with our cell phone company and he was given the run around. It took longer than it should have, but because of his persistence we did get it.
So make sure you know when to expect, follow-up and track them if you are going to take the time and effort to work with the rebates.